Worst 13 Advice To Follow When Prepping

If you ask me, the worst vice is giving unsolicited advice.

And I’m saying that even if most of the times I know what I’m talking about; otherwise, I prefer to keep my mouth shut rather than speak and make a fool of myself.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with everybody and if you’re into prepping, you must avoid “professional advisors.” These people haven’t walked out of their living room in the last 10 years, yet are perfectly capable of teaching Crocodile Dundee how to skin an alligator in the wilderness using an old Gillette razor blade.

You can learn lots of tips and tricks if you’re following the prepper’s online (or offline by that matter) community about the DOs and DON’Ts of prepping.

But, keep in mind that there are also lots of bad ideas floating around and some of them are actually dangerous if followed. Keep yourself educated and do your own research every time. Don’t be a sheeple…

This article is about the worst prepping advice out there; it’s a piece about the DON’Ts of prepping.

1. Maybe the worst prepping idea is to bug out in the wilderness when SHTF no matter what, without actually knowing how to unroll a sleeping bag in real life.

{adinserter emp}Think about the big picture for a second: If EVERYBODY bugs out in the wild when SHTF, what would happen (short-midterm)? Just imagine almost 300 million new-age untrained hunter-gatherers (read hungry and desperate people) roaming around in the woods, hunting that non-existent buffalo. Surviving out in the wild requires special skills and lots of available hunting land.

Living off the land may have worked 300 years ago for the Indian tribes but there were FAR less than 300 million of them and they knew what they were doing. Nowadays that certainly wouldn’t be the case!

2. Another fallacious piece of advice NOT to follow is about drinking water from “big rivers”.

According to this advice, the bigger the river, the safer the water is for drinking because stuff gets diluted. This advice is so stupid, I don’t even know where to begin: The Ganges is a river in India, one of the most polluted waters in the world, and it’s huge. The Yellow River (China’s biggest river) actually catches fire a few times a year or turns red from the chemicals.

So NEVER drink water from rivers, no matter how large or small without (at least) boiling it first!

3. One very dangerous piece of advice that can actually kill you (by sepsis) is this: you MUST suture wounds in the wild,  in order to keep out dirt and to stop bleeding, even without having the knowledge, the training or the tools (sterile equipment like  gloves) to do the job correctly.

A wound should be sutured only by trained professionals that are using sterile tools. If you fail on either of these two “must have’s” and try to suture a wound when out in the wild Rambo style, you’ll end up infecting the wound and possibly killing the victim in this way.

Sutures require special kits and they are meant to prevent infection and to control bleeding, not vice versa. If you don’t have a special suture kit and you’re clueless about the procedure, you’ll end up infecting the wound and potentially killing your friend out of pure kindness. You can stop the bleeding in other (non-invasive) ways, such as applying pressure to the wound.

4. Another bad advice to ignore is that a good knife is the only survival tool that you need.

Knives are made for cutting things, they’re not really a multi-purpose tool unless you have nothing else and you’re starving. Don’t try to open cans when out in the wild with your knife if you have a can opener. Even if you think you’re a bad-ass by doing so, you might end up cutting yourself in the stupidest way possible and at the worst time possible.

5. Although, you don’t need to carry with you the whole kitchen and that big box with carpentry tools.

Never bring more stuff than you can carry comfortably, you don’t need a ton of gear. Focus on the must-haves, like a solid knife, a durable lighter, a good sleeping bag/blanket, adequate clothing, food, a hydration system (water filters, water supply etc), a map, a flashlight, a first aid kit, etc. You DON’T need a pillow, an iPod, or the laptop.

6. “The destination is the road” is not a good answer for your fellows.

Never go out in the wild without telling other people where you’re going and for how long. Also, the “let’s bring booze, guns and a radio” suggestion when going out in the wilderness is one of the worst ideas ever. Hanging out with drunken idiots, in a potentially hostile (and most certainly hazardous) environment is tantamount to disaster.

7. “Wildlife is more afraid of you than you are of them.” Really?? Never take for granted that idiotic saying. You might end up facing a mountain lion or a bear and if you’re not bear hunting, well…it’s a bear or a mountain lion, and you’re a delectably available human. Yum for him.

8. You have animal repellent; you’ll be fine. Just because you have bear spray, you’re not on the safe side. Also, cooking bacon in bear-country is a very bad idea. Do you wonder why? See number 7.

9. “Clear sunny sky, light winds”. Sure, until the midnight storm. Don’t take the weather forecast for granted if your life may depend on it.

10. “Let ME see the map”. Just because someone knows how to use a map and a compass to make a beeline for your destination doesn’t mean that the shortest route is the quickest/safest.

11. “Forget the tent, take only the sleeping bags, it’s nice outside…” Stupid, stupid and stupid. Think bugs, snakes, spiders, rain, 50mph winds. All the critters want to be with you in your sleeping bag and a tent comes in handy when that unforeseen rain or windstorm blows in.

12. “Hey dude, what’s with all that gear, it’s supposed to be 80 and sunny at the top…” It’s better to carry a 45 pound pack when hiking and use only 5 pounds of it than carry a 5 pounds pack  and need the other 40 you left home…always be prepared for the worst, especially in the mountains where weather is very unpredictable.

13. “Screw the blaze orange.” It’s a bad idea to wear head to toe camo if you’re camping during the hunting season. Unfortunately, not everybody identifies movement before shooting but there aren’t many animals that wear blaze orange.

And to close on a funny note: Anything that Bear Grylls says should be considered bad advice!


This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

Written by

Chris Black is a born and bred survivalist. He used to work as a contractor for an intelligence service but now he is retired and living off the grid, as humanly possible. An internet addict and a gun enthusiast, a libertarian with a soft spot for the bill of rights and the Constitution, a free market idealist, he doesn't seem very well adjusted for the modern world. You can send Chris a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.

Latest comments
  • I have been trained but 72 years of experience and i know I am still not ready. any one who says they are 100% ready is just making a fool of them selves. The unexpected is going to bite you in your proverbial bottom. Sorry folks, these are the bare facts. Chris has his head screwed on good and tight and gives great advice. But I am sure even he will agree with me, there is the unexpected problem that can get you in trouble every time. My answer to surviving in the wild is couple up with friends that you know you can trust. Not strangers that tell you they know the way because they will be the first to turn upon you. Be sure of your limitations and do not try to exceed them. When I was young I could jump off the roof of our garage, today I have difficulty jumping off the tail gate of my Tundra Truck. But my aim with a rifle or hand gun is still good. you can stockpile mre’s but you can only carry just so much. So do your research now. Not when the SHTF. Also even if you have a great gun and or pistol you can’t carry 1000 rounds of ammunition. so don’t depend on that either. A decent knife, a pair of shoes that are comfortable Preferable with laces (useful for many things) clean cotton socks several pair that can be washed and re worn. I could go on for a long while with advice. But I am sure some may not even apply to you.

    • I enjoyed these comments today and believe it or not, you are right. I have seen some crazy ideas out their. You need to use the brain that the Holy Father gave you. I myself cannot bug out to the outdoors as I have a husband in a wheelchair. But, we will stay right home and we feel pretty safe because we are on a dirt road off of a black top road, and at the end of the dirt road with three other neighbors who are also preppers and we all intend to stay together if SHTF. We all get together and have planning days and are still preparing. You never have enough preparation, even if you think you are. Listen to Chris, he has some very great advice and you can depend on it. I have seen so many web-sites trying to sell their advice when all they want to do is make money.

  • On the 300 million that you will be competing with in the wilds, how many brainwashed nuts, hard nosed democrats , liberals and communist do you know who are so stupefied that they do not believe it could ever happen in this country? And those who are in denial in thinking the guvment will support them, when they come to recognize that the guvment is their enemy and intends to make them into slaves as in North Korea, not socialists but hard line communists of the worst kind?

    • #1 fed ex says we do not exist. #2 UPS cant find me we have deliveries go to an innocuous location where we pick them up. #3 No one around here knows this location except for the very few who live here. I have 23 acres a lot of it is wooded. It is surrounded by many other wooded areas. If I want a sheriff to come visit me I have to give him explicit directions. There are many other places that are a lot more accessible to the 300 million to get to. And lastly I am NOT the only one out here living more or less off the grid.

      • please Melody I hope you are right. do you know how many people 300 million are out wondering around . There are some that will find your location. After all you did.I do hope you are right . May God help us all in these time to come.

        • Ron I am not alone out here, there are a few others who are equally minded. I would lay out a plan call it a battle plan but that would give my plot away. It could also raise some eyebrows that I don’t wish to raise. If there was a private way to put it out there I might. However who knows who one is talking to? Trust me, I am OK and the 300 million can find easier places to get what they want. Maybe a few will spill over here but I feel sorry for the few who come at me.

          • melody .Im very happy for you a little jellis too .We all need as much advantage as we can get.I listened to a talk yesterday on drones and how they have up to 10 to 15 cameras in each that can see up to 200 miles and can zoom in on a spot and read a news paper .I just hope it is gov. propaganda

    • bringing political garbage to a thread like this shows the smallness of your mind. I don’t even say I disagree with you but pick the place and time and this is not it.

  • love it their is an old saying stupid is as stupi as stubid dose and the blind leading the blind and as far as bear grylls he is one of the stubids

  • These are interesting ‘how not to’ tips, but my favourite part is at the end: “Anything that Bear Grylls says should be considered bad advice!” That man makes my fists itch.

  • There is some very good and honest advice here. I help run an Internet and Brick & Mortar Aviation and Outdoor Survival Equipment business and I hear some of this on an almost
    daily basis. “Bugging Out” is an old military term that has been taken to heart by people who are long on opinions and short on abilities.

    For most people, bugging-out in an emergency is not an option – either they leave their home due to a “forced” evacuation, or they cannot leave due to a sick
    relative they are caring for, small children, or many other reasons.

    When asked, my advice to most folks is to really think about Surviving in Place if possible. We live in a suburban area but with quick access to more rural area and
    locations if time permits. If it is not practical to leave – then we will simply survive where we are. I tell people to not take counsel of their fears (George S. Patton Jr.) but to
    prepare as if everything depends on them, and to pray as if everything depends on God. That’s just my opinion – your results may vary.

    Prepare for events that are known to happen such as Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Floods, Earthquakes, Power Outages, etc. and plan accordingly with Water, Food, Water, Water, and Food being the top priorities. Concentrating on only one aspect of Survival such as protection is foolishness – when you are hungry and your kids are starving and hunting / gathering is out of the question and you can’t leave your family to forage… I think I’d rather have $5000 worth of food and water supplies stored up than the $5000 worth of guns and ammo that I hocked my Grandmother’s jewelry to buy. Water and food are the number one priorities and everything else in moderation. If the poop hits the fan, make your place as unattractive as possible to potential trouble-makers.

    Before the poop hits the fan, keep your prepping actions and plans close to your chest. Hide what you are saving up and storing and start hardening your location. Get a few big dogs for your backyard. Put up a “Beware of Dog” sign or three, plant some hedges that are thick with big thorns to deter people – plant them along an existing fence for some added security and privacy.

    The best advice I can think of – study, research, and prepare now based on what grows locally, what is available locally, and tailored for your situation. Use your imagination and be creative. Anything that makes someone use time and effort to take something from you is going to cause them to pass you by for an easier target – be a hard target. Peace.